MILEGALIZE IS ON TRACK – BUT WE HAVE TO FINISH STRONG WITH VOLUNTEER SIGNATURES, AND DONATIONS!
The new $100,000 matching donation to MILegalize SHOWS THAT WE CAN WIN THIS, AND TRUMP THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE LEGISLATURE AND THE MRC AND THE MCC BEFORE IT EVER TAKES ROOT!
And, if we cannot match this most generous gift we are toast…and maybe we will deserve all the backward looking, expensive, and oppressive cannabis regulations that are coming in Michigan…but the average patient or consumer doesn’t deserve them.
Cities like Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have had well regulated dispensaries for 5 years. These fine examples were ignored…to be replaced with unnecessary police and expense.
The gentleman who stands to give the MILegalize campaign more than $257,000 does not even smoke pot, or grow, or have a cannabis business. His gift is an act of moral leadership; he has seen the destruction that cannabis prohibition causes to our citizens, our society, and our values. He wants legalization – and safe access- as human rights issues, and he doesn’t want any disturbance in the lives of his friends who use cannabis. Even with no personal “dog in the race” he is disgusted by the investor driven quasi monopoly schemes, and the very poor medical marijuana dispensary legislation which has been twisted beyond recognition or rationality in the Michigan legislature. Like most of us he does not foresee the future of cannabis as being held hostage in a multitiered alcohol based model of regulation, he sees a future where cannabis would be treated as a normal herb or vegetable. I called him a “tomato person” and he knew what I meant…and advocated for a “free the weed” transition in the future.
I hope you are all doing well. I am sure you are all feeling the familiar chill of another Michigan Fall. I wanted to drop you an update and let you know about some things going on with the campaign. We are inching ever closer to our goal and also to the turbulent weather of Michigan’s winter. We only have a precious few weekends lefts to make sure we all do our part to make history in MI. From fall festivals, to football or even your local Halloween party, there are a lot of great chances left to make an impact. Be sure to carry your petitions with you when you think you might have a chance to collect a few signatures in your spare time, every signature really does count.
With dwindling time and bad weather approaching it is now more important than ever that you get out there and help round up signatures from your friends, family, and other community members.
There are a few great opportunities left this fall to make your time count the most. If you are sitting on some signatures please, please send them in so we can get the MOST accurate count possible.
Now for a bit of GREAT news! We have received a sizable donation from our last matching drive. The same generous donor has agreed to match up to an additional 100,000 dollars. The matching period will run through the end of October and will coincide with some exciting fundraising and MI Legalize events throughout the state. Stay tuned to our website for updates!
This week on the MI Legalize Blog:
Jeff Irwin- Rep. Irwin talks about the new house bills working through the legislature and what MI Legalize would mean for them.
Jim Powers- Jim talk about needs of pediatric patients in MI.
Jamie Lowell- Discusses house bills.
Please Pledge to collect signatures for us over the next few weeks. We will only make it when normal people like you demand that enough is enough.
Once you have made the Pledge, make sure you check out the events section to find nearby events to collect signatures. Although it is always a good time to collect signatures and our best volunteers keep their clipboards on them in order to capitalize on any opportunity. (An extra few mins in front of a busy post office, DMV, library, public place)
Can’t Volunteer? Your donation will help us sustain the signature effort and maintain our office expenses.
If MI Legalize passes and the new medical marijuana rules in 4209 pass, the there will be two parallel systems of licensure and enforcement. The bills don't prevent MI Legalize.
What will caregivers face in such an environment? Well, there would be one MMMA system that they would not be able to sell their overages into. Then, there would be a separate system with local licenses available per the terms set by local governments. Those terms could allow caregivers to supply the adult-use market. Given that there will be overages, it would be smart for communities to allow caregivers to move their product into the legal market. Otherwise, there'll be less revenue and less success in moving sales into the legal market.
Given the differences, there are obvious advantages for everybody in the market under MI Legalize, except of course the individuals who would score the licenses in a heavily regulated market.
Of course, it's not out of the question that some creative judges overturn the will of the people. That is a concern in any scenario, but it is more concerning when you're on the right side of public interest. The GOP does control the courts.
Also, let's not forget that there will be legal challenges no matter what. There will be likely be legal challenges to HB 4209 as an amendment to the MMMA. Without a 3/4ths vote, 4209 could go the same way as transport rules passed in Dec 2012.
When it comes to sick kids and cannabis, I know a thing or two. My son, Ryan, became the youngest cannabis patient in the state when he received his medical marihuana card back in 2012 at age 3. It has since helped my wife, Erin, and I to bring control to a disease where we had none before. After the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on the infamous People v Carruthers case, the legality of Ryan's medication became much less clear - bringing a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty into our lives. Would we be arrested? Would our child be taken from us? What could we possibly do to change any of this?
What we did was form a non-profit organization, Michigan Parents for Compassion, banded with other families, and began lobbying the Michigan legislature for a common sense solution to our problem. Unfortunately, common sense was not found - instead, we found lots of other special interests, who seemed much more interested in their bottom line than helping any of our families' children. Two years of lobbying has gotten us a proposed tax on our already very expensive medicine and strict regulations that would turn many of the parents who have fought alongside of us into 4 year felons. This is unacceptable to us and we absolutely had to find a solution.
Enter MILegalize - MILegalize will decriminalize all cannabis offenses, except for those that involve driving under the influence and giving cannabis to kids absent a doctor's recommendation. MILegalize will allow a doctor, not the state government, to determine what conditions cannabis may be therapeutic for - as they are allowed to do with other medications. MILegalize will concretely protect sick kids and their families who choose to use cannabis as medicine under their doctor's supervision. Our families will no longer have to worry about being arrested or having our chronically ill child being taken from us for simply trying to keep our kids healthy.
Please consider helping us to fight for real cannabis reform in Michigan - visit http://www.milegalize.com/ to help with a donation, which is doubled until 10/26 up to $100,000 thanks to a generous matching donor, or sign up and volunteer to help us gather the signatures we need for victory!
MILegalize solves the issues brought forth by the Michigan law-makers including Rep Callton who introduced the bill pertaining to medical marijuana dispensaries- a plan he says that will help shape the infrastructure for full legalization. If both Callton's bill and MILegalize were to become law- MILegalize would be superior when in conflict and offers a more attractive and functional approach for the citizens of Michigan.
- Big Government, Big Business, Corporate Interests based
- Leaves out caregivers, limits participation, adds layers of unnecessary restrictions
- Utilizes the inefficient, unfair tiered system
- Includes an unecessarily excessive armored car transportation provision
- Supports an active illegal market, no disincentive for police to to investigate, arrest and conduct raids on citizens for cannabis activity, or for CPS to stop taking children and traumatizing families over cannabis activity.
- Does not consider the physical nature of cannabis
- Demonstrates a reliance on the police for information regarding cannabis
- It is as if Rep Callton worked with the police and the big money interests to draw from the approaches that have already been proven failures.
Max Donovan is one of MILegalize's top petitioners. Max is a student at Michigan State University majoring in political science and minoring in economics. Max attended events all over the lower peninsula, pulling in signatures from the Canoe Race in Oscoda, the Common Ground concert series in Lansing, and most recently at the Michigan Renaissance Faire in Holly, and Art Prize in Grand Rapids.
Max works hard for this campaign because he believes that the legalization of marijuana is a simple step towards fixing countless problems in our state: institutional imprisonment, unfunded roads, closing schools, unemployment; Max puts in the effort because he's convinced that it's the simplest way to do the most amount of good for our state. When he's not petitioning or doing homework, Max spends most of his time with his girlfriend Murphy or researching policy online." MILegalize thanks Max and all our dedicated petitioners! Join the team today!
We made it through another week! We have had a very busy week in the office, there is a lot of news to update you on before you start your weekend. On Tuesday some pieces of legislation started moving through the Michigan legislature regarding medical marijuana. We have seen a lot of questions coming in to us through social media and our emails about this topic. I thought I would compile a couple articles and blog piece that I think best describe these bills.
1. Jeff Hank on MI Legislature
2. Jamie Lowell
3. Mlive Article
As you will see after reading up on these bills MI Legalize is now more necessary than ever. All week people have been getting FIRED UP! They know that our petition is the ONLY option we have to get a real comprehensive legalization plan that is fair and sane. We have already seen an uptick in volunteer sign ups and in volunteer signatures turned into the office since news of the bills on Tuesday. Now is our time, we have three months left to show the lobbyists and special interests that we want something better for our state.
After all the years of fighting for patients and caregivers-- is this what we settle for? If it's true the MCC has pulled it's petition, and the MRC has no ballot proposal yet, then MILegalize is the most realistic chance to get so many things-- the end of technical violations of the MMMA leading to possible criminal penalties; the rights of patients and caregivers expanded; no tax on medical cannabis; safe access; non-flower medicines; decriminalization of adult use and a personal right to grow without any license or seed-to-sale tracking; and the ability to have larger grows, testing facilities, processing facilities, hemp farms, and more, with a basic locally approved license-- no centralization of power that can be easily corrupted by a few persons. Additionally we prohibit a per se nanogram limit for driving, protect the right to bear arms, child custody, and create legally enforceable contracts and insurable interests in the cannabis industry. We do this without getting bogged down in over-regulation, instead creating sensible ground rules that provide basic public safety and public health protections. We ensure no tax on medical and reasonable taxation on adult use.
MILegalize is about halfway through it's campaign. To date, things are going very well and we are picking up more momentum and allies daily. That said, the next three months are crucial. We need to raise $250k-- quickly-- and we need people who are tired of the status quo and who want better to pickup a clipboard and get 500 or 1000 signatures and recruit a few friends to do the same. Together we can win, but divided or half-interested Michigan's cannabis community will remain second-class, without progress towards sensible legalization and with continued sub-par legislative and judicial attacks on the MMMA. Most ballot initiatives require $1 million...we are going to do it for substantially less, but the money makes the job easier. Nothing good just happens by hoping others will do it, but amazing good comes from many people coming together to help. A small group can change the course of history, and I invite you to take part. If you sit on the sidelines you have little legitimacy in complaining and history will be written and you won't be part of the Michigan miracle. What kind of legacy as cannabis activists do we want?
People are learning about the true nature of cannabis and the polls have suggested a much less restrictive image from the citizens, than what has transpired in Colorado and definitely not nearly as stupidly constrained as what is being attempted in Ohio and discussed by the law-makers, and the MRC/MCC here in Michigan. Unless the point is to hand over the market to a small group of investors who know nothing about cannabis and/or to appease the police with stupid additional steps that still keep the people, who choose to participate, in danger of arrests, raids, prosecution and incarceration- we can clearly move past those antiquated strategies, as far as the voters and mainstream Michigan is concerned.
We can do much better than to create a system based on an inefficient and unfair tiered model where expensive commercial transportation companies have to be used to just move cannabis around. This approach unnecessarily drives up costs for the consumer. Other tiered systems- such as with alcohol -creates a host of useless activity surrounding the product before it gets to and can be made available from the distributor to the store- then to the consumer. The store then realizes a very small margin, and the consumer pays more along with other limitations. These things will keep alternative, unregulated markets attractive to the patient or personal user- and what revenue generation is realized in this overly regulated, overly restrictive model- will go to one of the few, already rich investors, who used power and influence and the greed and corruption that permeates the legislature to achieve this self-serving goal.
The MILegalize plan considers the facts about cannabis and what systems have already proven to be effective and functional in Michigan and elsewhere. The truth and models that are already working well, ought to be the basis for for consideration when creating sensible policy for cannabis.
I hope you had a good week and are gearing up for your weekend. We have been busy this week at the campaign sending out materials and processing signatures in the office. We are getting closer to our end date and we want to make sure we are all out there hitting the pavement as the days get shorter and grow cold. From fall festivals, to football games and farmers markets’ fall in MI is a great time to talk with your friends and neighbors about our campaign while collecting signatures. If you need some ideas on where to go, visit our event page (listed below) or contact us. Be sure to reach out if you need more petition sheets and cannot reach a petition depot location.
It has been a wonderful week for signatures and I am hoping next week can be even better, please make the most of this weekend, even a few hours can help us end the prohibition of cannabis in Michigan. Your hard work will ensure our success in achieving our goal!
Thank you for all you do, your dedication is the fuel of this campaign.
-Please send in any completed signatures that you have to us in the office, MI Legalize PO Box 1358 East Lansing MI, 488826. It’s important we get them regularly, we want to make sure we can get them processed and accounted for as quickly as possible.
Have you visited our page to learn about the rules of collecting signatures?
Visited a petition depot location?
Signed up for a volunteer shift?